Apple has updated its Developer page and is continuing to forgo the App Store requirement for paid online group services to use in-app purchases for payments, 9to5mac reported. The service will remain as it is until Dec. 31.
“Last year, to support apps that adapted services from in-person to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily deferred the requirement to offer paid online group event services (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime services) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1,” Apple said in the update. “As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we’d like to support the communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events by extending the deadline further to December 31, 2021.”
Apple also said its policies would allow apps to offer real-time, person-to-person services for individuals to use other purchasing methods, according to the guideline. That could aid tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training and more.
“If your app enables the purchase of real-time person-to-person services between two individuals … you may use purchase methods other than in-app purchase to collect those payments,” the guideline stated. “One-to-few and one-to-many real-time services must use in-app purchase.”
App developers trying to evade the tech giant’s extra fees is not a new phenomenon. Some developers were reportedly dreading the rollout of updates to the iPhone early this year, fearing their potential to add new popups asking users to consent to have their data tracked by IDFAs, or advertising identifiers. Most users will likely click to block IDFAs, which comes as a concern for developers, many of which rely heavily on advertising for revenue and distribution.
Developers are trying to get around that by using alternative tracking devices, including “device fingerprinting,” which will come with the risk of those apps being booted from the App Store.
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